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Published on Friday, August 8, 2014

Department of Ecology Seeks Comments for Crude by Rail Study

Last session, the Legislature directed the Department of Ecology, the Utilities and Transportation Commission, and the State Emergency Management Division to analyze the risks associated with transporting crude oil through the state, by rail and by vessel, and to report back to the Legislature and the Governor. This study will inform policymakers as they determine how to mitigate risks associated with the transport of crude oil in inland and marine areas of the state. The study also requires that the state agencies conducting the study coordinate with local governments, tribes, federal authorities, and private sector stakeholders. Click here to get more information about the study. The webpage will be updated as the study progresses.

AWC staff are working with these agencies and will be submitting general comments, but we would also like to encourage cities to submit comments about the specific issues and concerns in their communities to inform the scope and direction of the study. While anyone may submit comments throughout the course of the study, comments submitted by Friday, August 15 will be considered before draft findings and recommendations are complete.

The consultants who have been retained to conduct the study have planned the following: develop draft findings and recommendations by Friday, August 22; host stakeholder workshops September 8-12 to further refine those; complete a technical report by October 15; submit a draft report to the Governor by December 1; conduct further outreach in January of 2015; and submit a final report to the Governor and the Legislature by March of 2015.

While the focus of the study is the public safety and health concerns related to the transport of crude oil, the agencies are also considering safety, economic, and other impacts associated with increased train traffic through urbanized areas. Please share the full range of concerns that your community has. You can use the on-line form that Ecology has provided (click here) or write directly to the staff included on the website.

Categories: Transportation